We are a family run farm and cheese dairy, located in Upton, a small hamlet in the Southwest Leicestershire countryside. On the farm we manage 150 milking pedigree Holstein Friesian cows and 160 followers (young stock and dry cows). The cows are fed on the farm’s lush pastures and calving takes place all year round to keep the milk supply as consistent as possible.
In 2005 we started making England’s only unpasteurised Red Leicester cheese, a cheese that hadn’t been made on the farm since 1857.
In 2017 our son, William started to make the wonderfully traditional raw milk blue cheeses- Sparkenhoe Blue and Sparkenhoe Shropshire Blue. Will also runs a 270-ewe flock of Romney sheep on mixed herbal leys.
The name Sparkenhoe is an old English name meaning gorsey knob. The name was given to the old medieval one hundred area and as the farm is situated in the middle of this area it was named Sparkenhoe Farm.
Here at Sparkenhoe Farm, we believe it is important to connect people to the food they eat and the farm from which it came. It is our mission to produce the highest quality nourishing milk and tastiest traditional cheeses for our customers. We also believe that it is our duty to use farming practices and principles that increase biodiversity, enrich soils, and enhance ecosystems.
We are always striving to be a one farm process by producing as much of the cows feed as possible on the farm. Furthermore, almost all of the energy that is used in the cheese dairy production is generated from renewable sources including sola panels and a biomass boiler.
Meet The Team
The Herd - Greeta and Hyacinth
Are girls are Pedigree Holstein Friesian cows. For most of the year the cows will be grazing the lush pastures at Sparkenhoe Farm, however due to the cold and wet climate in the winter it is not possible to graze the pastures all year round, the grass does not grow and the fields are too wet. In the winter months the girls come into the big opened sided barn, here they have lots of sunlight, a lovely straw bed and back scratchers whenever they need a good massage. During this period the majority of their feed consists of food that has been home grown on the farm over the summer months.
The Clarke Family
David is the third generation of the Clarke family to farm on Sparkenhoe farm. Both Jo and David's families have been farming as far back as the family history goes.
David has been running the dairy farm at Sparkenhoe for over 35 years. He has always been passionate about breeding quality cows that will produce quality milk whilst using farming methods that conserves the wildlife, ecology, and countryside.
Jo ran a B and B in the farm house for 8 years before they decided to diversify into making cheese. Now Jo manages the packing team, the Tearoom and the Cheese shop.
William, David and Jo's son finished Harper Adams University in 2017. He came back to the farm and now makes the Sparkenhoe Blue and Sparkenhoe Shropshire Blue, he also manages the arable land and flock of Romney sheep that enable him to follow regenerative farming practices and David's passion for conservation.
The Cheesy Team
This amazing team work in the cheese dairy. Making cheese is part art and part science that requires patience and dedication. These wonderful people help us create consistent, delicious flavours that we can be very proud of.
The Farm Team
These are the wonderful people that help us nurture the fields and tend to the livestock, maintaining high animal welfare 365 days of the year.
What would we do without Fizz? Her remarkable enthusiasm and natural talent on the farm makes the moving of livestock so much less onerous.
Our flock of sheep are curtail to farming in a more sustainable way. We use the sheep to naturally fertilise the land which reduces the amount of chemical fertiliser used on the arable fields.